Friday, 7 June 2013

Personal Development

Not many pictures or finished objects in this post. 
A few months ago my overlocker died - L  I was faced with three choices:

a.    Go back to zigzagging the edges of all my pieces before I start sewing a project.

b.    Look for another older three thread overlocker like the one that had just died.

c.    Invest a little bit extra and buy a second hand, but newer, four thread overlocker with a few fancy functions.

The thought of going back to zigzagging was just too hard, so I approached the second hand market with either b or c in mind. 

It took a while to find one but this Babylock Protégé came into my life about two months ago.

She didn’t have instructions, but I sort of managed to figure out how to thread her up from the diagrams on the machine.  Although I’d got her working, the stitches formed a loopy finish on the edge and if I tried to use it to sew a seam if sort of stretched out and the stitches were really obvious.

I eventually found a manual on line, but still didn’t seem to really get on with her.  I carried on using the overlocker to finish and trim edges, but felt that I wasn’t really using her to her potential.  At around the same time I took a long hard look at a few of my recent projects with dissatisfaction.  There were a couple of areas that I felt that my lack of skill had let me down.

I was picking up some supplies in my local Spotlight when I noticed leaflets advertising a sewing tutor who did home visits and claimed to be able to teach any machine at a reasonable cost. 

I checked her website, and rang her up and had a chat, after which I booked for her to come to my home on a Saturday afternoon and teach me to love my overlocker and give me a hand with my button holes and zips on biased seams.

True to her word Diane obviously knows her overlockers.  Within half an hour I knew exactly what I had been doing wrong and was confidently threading and unthreading the babylock.  It was actually something soooo trivial that I wouldn’t have even thought about it, but she explained why it was mucking my tension up so badly.  She went through how to adjust the tension, and then moved on to rolled hems,

Beautiful rolled hem

flatlock stitches and special finishes with the overlocker.  We just had time at the end for her to give me a few useful pointers with my zips and button holes. 

Her minimum session is three hours for $85 and 25 per hour after that.  I found that three hours was about as much tuition as I could handle.  By the time she left I was busting to try all the fancy techniques that she had taught, as well as re-do all the garments I've overlocked the hems of in the last few months.   
If you’re in Auckland I can recommend her, not just for learning a new machine, but also for mastering a particular aspect of sewing.  She’ll even take two or three students for no extra charge.

In the meantime, I see heaps of overlocked projects on the horizon for me.
NB - I paid full price for this lesson and this post is an honest review of my experience for which I have received no reward.

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